Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dog Participates in Marathon

Spring is definitely marathon season, with big local races like the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Crescent City Classic here in New Orleans, and then national races like the Boston Marathon. For one man, this marathon season is extra special.

Mr. Kelly has run in 19 marathons, which is already impressive to me, so why will his 20th be any different or more spectacular? Because a lot has happened to him between then and now. This will be his first full marathon since an industrial accident, stroke, and bicycle accident shattered an arm and limited the use of one foot, among other things. Oh, and did I mention that he was born blind in one eye?

As you might suspect, he has not let any of his medical issues stop him, but he is also smart about it. Four years ago he got Murphy, a Rhodesian ridgeback dog, to walk with him. Murphy was made for walking he found out after doing some research. It turns out that this breed of dog was used to hunt lions in Africa and they need long walks to be at their best.

Normally, dogs aren't allowed in the marathons, but Dan Kelly was able to get special permission for Murphy to accompany him. They will both be wearing t-shirts with "assisted walker" and their race number to identify that they are together. Their pace might be a little slower than the other runners, but they should still be able to finish the race. (They've been walking a mile in 12-13 minutes and the sweeper truck does a mile in 13 minutes and 42 seconds.)

So if you get a second today, think about Dan and Murphy as they race in the Pittsburgh Marathon.



***This is another big race going on today as well, the Maryland Half-Marathon. Last year, it passed by Dozer (the goldendoodle's) house and he got through his invisible fence to join the race. There's video of him crossing the finish line after running 8 miles. This year, he's fundraising on behalf of the half-marathon and the donations are going to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center.***

***UPDATE*** They've posted the results of the Pittsburgh Marathon and Dan Kelly finished the race! Congrats to him and Murphy!

6 comments:

  1. Not marathon length, but I saw quite a few dogs in the Beat Beethoven 5K in Fairbanks a few weeks ago. (Photos at )

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    1. The link for the photos didn't work.

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  2. inspiring. I should really stop making excuses and finally join a marathon!
    animals can really be of a huge support to us. I often think of my cat as a natural anti-depressant.

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    1. I'm with you. I have so many friends that are runners, but I still can't find the motivation to do it myself.

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  3. Sarah, What an amazing spirit that man has. Very inspiring.

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    1. I agree! 20 marathons after all he's been through?! Incredible!

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